Friday, 3 August 2018


Dear all, here is some reference for you from our most enjoyable painting holiday at HH.
It was a slower pace this year due to having much to paint, which resulted in more painting time allowing us to get engrossed in completing a finished painting, and from the feedback this went down well.
As we completed our painting we were able to fine tune the tonal and colour balance of this scene which was chosen for it's rhythm through repetition of horizontal and vertical stripes and lines, with a limited palette of predominantly cools and a smaller area of warms, resulting in the warms being then dominate due to their isolation and therefore contrast.

Please scroll down to your reference, and please read the important note at the bottom about next years holiday.





Ian Sidaway….

Lesley Muroe

Some Walberswick scenes you also liked

Today I received this email from Flatford Mill Field studies centre, which I booked in 2017 for a 2019 painting holiday…which basically says it has cancelled our booking for next year!! I have sent them a stinking email back concluding that this is the last they will ever hear from me! However I am now challenged with trying to find another FSC that we haven't been to before for next years holiday, which means I will have to look further afield, this will not suit everyone, but with few options I will have to try to find what I can and see if there are enough numbers to book it….. I am very sad for those of you who were looking forwards to going back to FM and v angry at FM for their extremely shoddy behaviour towards us.

Hello Gill

We have a provisional booking for you on 5-8 August 2019. Unfortunately we are no longer able to offer these dates to you due to other confirmed bookings that have developed and a large school group that have booked the Centre, resulting in us having to adjust our other adult learning courses.

I can offer alternate dates in 2019 in January, February, November or December if these would be of any use to you? Or I can enquire at some of our other Centres, Juniper Hall for example to see if they have any availability.

Please let me know if you’d lie me to pursue either of the above options.

Kind regards

John Blair
Head of Centre Field Studies Council (FSC)

t:  01206 297110 (switchboard)
a: FSC Flatford Mill, East Bergholt, Suffolk. CO7 6UL

Wednesday, 4 July 2018


THIS WEEK we were painting this cockerel in the style of an artist called Kate Osborne

We began by practicing washes with our brushes at a very shallow angle and severely editing our brush marks, then pulling the fronds out of the wash before it formed a hard edge before adding the salt for texture, we also practiced painting the tail feathers before 'fronting' by pulling a body of colour out to the dry area beyond the tail feathers, pressing our big brushes to the surface to get fat lines, then gradually releasing the pressure to this the lines out towards the edges to gradually this them out to a point.

Here are some student paintings, and lets remember that for week 10 from scratch this is really impressive, what has been learned so far is..
Learning how to paint without freaks or blotches,
learning flow control
Using enough water and painting faster
painting within a complicated shape,
Pulling shapes out of the main body, and 'fronding'
Plus, using hard and soft edges with 'fronting'

We used hard and soft edges with 'fronding' wet on dry to get the detail, here are my demonstrations

This is the last class of the Summer term, we will be back on Wednesday the 19th of September, it is your watercolour challenge over the summer to practice these same techniques with a menagerie of birds, we will have an exhibition on our return, have a happy summer all, but I hope to see you again in a non teaching capacity before then
G XXX : )

Tuesday, 3 July 2018


This week we were completing our beeches river scene, we painted our trees wet in wet with salt and splatter for texture as we knew we didn't need much detail on them, because the detail was on the boats, chuch and ripples, and too much tree detail would have over egged the pudding.
Here are some student paintings near completion, 👇this was only the week after this technique was first introduced, so well done yous, and keep practicing your water throughout the summer, and we'll have an exhibition on september the 18th when we return to class.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018


This week we were working on painting this rook, there object of this exercise was to get really dark darks and intense colours out of our palette, and paint within a specified shape avoiding un necessary brush marks.

We began by practicing random shapes, and pulling the pigment out with a splayed out brush before the was had a chance to dry to a hard edge.
One of the challenges with this exercise was to avoid brush marks which weren't describing anything, the way to do this is to practice fi

To get a more even streak free application, try not making repeated brush strokes she you are lifting your brush off the paper at the end of every stroke, this results in blobs where you have lifted off, and doesn't help each brushstroke to merge into the other, try to keep your brush on the paper at all times during a colour application, holding your brush at a shallow angle and sideways on to get the widest possible marks, practice this as an exercise on it's own till it becomes second nature to you.

This is the photo reference we were using
random shapes to get used to painting around a shape., we were also dropping small amounts of table salt onto the wash after we had pulled out the fronds bits to get this texture.

Next week we will be doing exactly the same technique as this week, but applying the technique to a cockerel, leaving it to dry, and adding detail wet on dry

As per request, next week will be the last week of summer term, and we will resume the next 10 week course starting on September the 18th 2018, however I may be planning a non teaching trip out on the river at Beccles some time during the summer and will email the details of that nearer the time

Tuesday, 26 June 2018


THIS WEEK WE WERE Exploring how to represent water as a preparation for a trip in the River at Beccles some time in the summer, above are some watercolour artists representations of water, note how all the edges of the reflections are hard edged

This is the scene in Beccles on the river we are aiming at painting

1st we drew up the scene and added the background colour
Then we practiced putting a pale lemon wash down with zig zag edges horizontally, and applying pigment in vertical stripes to represent the reflections of trees
More practices
A demonstration of a previous workshop painting showing the intended outcome with high definition dark lines in the surface of the water to indicate it's flatness.
If you were unable to attend this class, please can you follow these steps at home, as we will be continuing with this painting next week, and it is important you know the technique to apply to the finished painting next week